We have been traveling with our kids since our eldest was a baby and we have been on some pretty great trips all over the world. The interesting thing is that we did not consciously decide that we would make traveling a high priority in our life – or that it would consume such a large part of our budget – it kind of evolved.
Being that we both have close family abroad, our travel started off as trips to visit family overseas. After a few of these trips, we realized that we did not want to spend all our money to make it halfway across the world just to visit relatives. The more we saw, the more we wanted to see. We were inspired by our travels and the opportunity to explore other cultures. In short, we had caught the travel bug. After taping the pages of the family atlas together for the 3rd time in a month, we realized that our kids were suffering from the same ailment.
In the summer of 2010 we made a plan- the following year we were going to spend 6 weeks in America touring from East to West. It was going to be expensive because we were going to hit up all the famous and not so famous haunts and we drew ourselves a rough budget. As the kids were now a little older we decided to share our plans for the trip and the fact that we would need to start saving. During our weekly Friday night dinner, we told the kids that we are planning a fabulous trip the following year and we would need their help saving for this costly vacation. Instead of large birthday presents and grabbing pizza whenever we go out, we told them we plan on buying more modest gifts this year and taking food with us if we will be out of the house for an extended period of time. Everyone agreed to the plan and enjoyed the fabulous trip.
In the last decade, we have gone on many other overseas trips, our kids have grown up and they have developed their own interests. Some of our kids enjoy museums and culture, some are looking for adventure and thrills and we all love nature hikes and off-the-beaten-track experiences.
We look forward to our summer vacation all year long, it’s one of the most important parts of our family life. Here are just three reasons why.
They get to see the world outside of their own little bubble
Traveling helps kids understand that there are multitudes of ways of being. It helps them become open-minded, non-judgmental to communicate and appreciate other people. They watch and learn, observe and absorb all that is around them.
Travel time is dedicated to family time. On vacation, we are removed physically, from our highly pressured everyday lives where everyone’s focused on meeting targets. Vacation is time for everyone to relax and be playful together.
But most of all, family vacations are a time to build memories as a family. For months and years afterward our family loves to reminisce and relive the stories and experiences we shared on holiday.
A break from technology
Often when traveling internationally, access to the internet isn’t readily available. In our family, even if it is freely available we have decided that when we are on vacation, the internet is limited to just one hour in the evening when we return from our day out. This break from screen time is mentally rejuvenating and encourages our kids to become active members of the world around them.
Chava is the content manager at Sweet Inn.
She loves traveling the world with her family and collecting tacky magnets for the fridge.